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Category Archives: Marc George Gershwin

Ann Arbor Gershwin Centennial Festival 2024: “Rhapsody in Blue” and More…

February 2024 marks the 100th birthday of George Gershwin’s jazz piano concerto Rhapsody in Blue. To celebrate, the University of Michigan Gershwin Initiative in partnership with Ann Arbor’s landmark Michigan Theater (606 East Liberty in Ann Arbor) will host a Gershwin Centennial Celebration Concert on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024 at 4:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, but requires an electronic, general admission ticket (reserve here). Please note: The start time for this event has been moved up to 4:00 p.m. A special feature of the concert will be the appearance of George Gershwin’s personal piano, a […]

A Legacy to Preserve; the thorny question of piano restoration

Original Keyboard and Action of the George Gershwin piano. Having received the Gershwin piano in the Piano Technology Shop in the Moore Building, the thorny question of restoration confronts us.  How does one go about the rehabilitation of an instrument that is old while preserving its essence?  We’ve had a bit of experience with this in the past.  In fact, three examples of what and how we go about the restoration of an historical instrument can be found right on campus.  The first is the Elizabeth Gould Hochmann Steinway Model B which is on permanent loan to the University of […]

‘S Wonderful! We’re Going To Get a Gershwin Piano!

The e-mail from Marc Gershwin began with a simple opening: “Dear Bob, I am pleased to let you know that I would definitely like to donate the piano to the U of M.” That’s all I needed to know.  We were going to be the lucky beneficiaries of a major gift; the last one of three pianos owned by George Gershwin, a long Model A Steinway grand piano that he purchased in 1933.  Wow! It wasn’t necessarily a sure thing.  The process began with an inquiry from the dean’s office about whether I knew any appraisers in New York who […]

Journey to a New Home: The Gershwin Steinway Comes to Ann Arbor

Nothing quite matches the anticipation of a long-awaited item arriving by mail or UPS or Wells Fargo Wagon…or so goes the sentiment behind the song in “The Music Man” (forgive me the reference to a composition not by George or Ira Gershwin).  But that’s  the feeling I had when the semi truck from Modern Piano Movers pulled in to the Moore Building parking lot of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance at 8:30 p.m. on April 13, 2013.  It was really “something special” to see that 75-foot vehicle pull in and unload George Gershwin’s prized Model […]

The Gershwin Piano @ U-M SMTD

This summer an incredible delivery arrived at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance — George Gershwin’s 1933 Steinway grand piano!!! The composer’s nephew, Marc George Gershwin, was moving from his longtime NYC apartment and the burgeoning collaboration with the University gave him a place to send the instrument—a new home in which the piano would not only be cherished but where it would be used regularly in performance. The instrument is a relatively rare Steinway “Long A” model, which has exceptional sound characteristics for its size (6′ 4″). We’ve played the piano just a bit and […]